Nutmeg

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Nutmeg

Technical guide

Origin Ile de Grenade au sud des Caraïbes
Net weight 35 g
Conservation / Utilisation In a dry, dark place It should always be freshly grated, as ground nutmeg quickly loses its aroma.
Price incl. tax €6.90

Epice pure

The words of Olivier Roellinger

Its rich, warm, slightly sweet flavour makes it a round and sensual spice. The flavour of mace, while perhaps more refined, is a little more bitter. Nutmeg brings a wonderful aroma to any dish containing milk, cream or eggs, but also potatoes and cauliflower. It makes a particularly good match for seafood, as in a broth or lemon butter. I like it with honey, pears, cherries, lemon and almost always alongside vanilla.

Botanical notes

Nutmeg is the almond of the myristica fragrans plant. The nutmeg plant produces two spices, nutmeg and mace. It produces a pretty yellow fruit about the size of an apricot which, as it ripens, opens to reveal a big red pit. This net of red fibres called mace envelops an integument or shell which must be broken to obtain the nutmeg.

Story

Nutmeg was discovered in 1512 in the Moluku archipelago, where this spice originated, by the Portuguese before the Dutch took over its production completely in 1602. Banda island, which they kept under high surveillance, was the only island authorized to produce nutmeg and, to guarantee their monopoly, they destroyed the plants in the other islands of the archipelago. This allowed them to maintain very high prices and the Dutch even went as far as to dip the nutmeg in lime to prevent them from germinating. A few decades later, Mahé de la Bourdonnais and Pierre Poivre managed to spirit away a few nutmeg and clove plants from the Dutch to plant them in the French and Bourbon islands. In the 17th century it was suggested as a remedy for dozens of illnesses.